UEFA Plan Feels Wrong? By Dan Smith
My assumption was that if the season couldn’t finish, clubs would then vote for whether we just end the season now and whatever place you are in that’s your final position? Or we could pretend 2019-20 never happened and we base everything off the final 2018-19 table. In other words, we are back in the Europa League (depending on Man City’s appeal).
My attitude has always been that if we get to the stage where the League can’t be completed, there is zero way to make things fair for everyone.
Next to the backdrop of a pandemic some clubs might have to grin and bear it, with the priority being that no-one is financially destroyed by any decisions (which is why there should be zero relegation).
Yet UEFA might now take the decision out of associations hands in term of who represents which nation in Europe. The games governing body has a deadline to organise their tournaments so they might step in, say if the Premiership continue to insist they will delay kick off till as long as possible. A coefficient system would effectively be used which bases your results over a certain amount of time. As things stand ours is enough to be in the top 4 English sides (thank you Mr Wenger) and a place in the Champions League.
It would be a huge slice of luck for us and Spurs (they rank fifth so would take City’s spot) given there’s no guarantee we would have finished in the top 5.
It’s not our fault. We would just happen to benefit from the rules, but does it leave a nasty taste in your mouth? That essentially our best chance of getting back into the CL is a deadly virus leaving us in isolation long enough that all sporting events are cancelled?
Don’t get me wrong I will get over it! Stan Kroenke won’t be saying no to the added money. While I would feel bad for a Leicester or Sheffield United, I wouldn’t mourn for ever. I would just feel uneasy.
To me the thrill of sport is that sometimes you win or sometimes you lose. Sometimes you must experience that heartbreak of a loss to appreciate the thrill of success. Once you’re just handed something you haven’t earnt, it hurts the credibility of the game.
It’s like the scandal in Italy in 2006. The idea that Inter were suddenly handed the title, clubs promoted or qualifying for Europe based on events off the pitch hurt the reputation of Serie A for a long time.
As Scotland are showing, clubs will vote for their best interest, there’s too much money in football not too. It would be irresponsible for Arsenal to accept to finish the season now in 8th if we have other options. Yet if you offered me Champions League qualification now and end the campaign, I rather take the option of trying to earn it ourselves, as well as the FA Cup.
That’s what sport is about. The drama, the highs and lows, the line between success and failure. I don’t want to benefit out of a crisis (it goes without saying none of this matters compared to safety of people. Sport is irrelevant compared to life, so this is just for the sake of conversation.)
How about you, Gooners? If someone said you are back in the Champions League, but there will no football till September. Would you take it? Or prefer to take the chance of fighting for it yourself?
Be kind in comments..